Spreadsheets are a go-to tool for countless teams and companies. You might even be using one right now. But is it the best tool for storing, managing, and visualizing your business’s data?
In this article, we will share some of the most useful features in the industry which will dramatically improve your productivity. We will also introduce the Google Apps script, a powerful tool for automating workflows and extending Google Shetts’s functionality and sustainability. Google Sheets’s advantages and disadvantages will also be covered.
In addition to listing the advantages, we’ll also cover the negative aspects of these. There a just a few, especially two to stand out: one of them would be that the benefits depend on collaboration with other subscribers or employees, and here you will find that the uneven uptake in the organization will place limits on how fast you can take some of the features into use.
When Google gets in Google’s way
The rise of Google Now, a feature that proactively delivered information to users to predict information in form of informational cards, showed as a prime example of Google having something exceptional and then failing to follow through with it.
With its first time appearance in 2012, young people heralded it in social media as “ the predictive future of search”. It brought countless tidbits Google knows about our every day and our world together in a fantastically useful way – a way no company other than google could try to pull off.
Nowadays, disclaimers have rebranded it as “ the feed” and are just another stream of news stories you can scroll through.
Why did that change happen? By all counts, Google gave up on its unique vision to chase competitors like Facebook or Linkedin in the race for cheap attention. In doing so, it once again lost that special spark.
There are countless other examples of Google acting as its own worst enemy and failing to follow through with a commendable initial vision. Look at the company’s never-ending messaging mess, for instance, or the awkward implementation of Apple-like app shortcuts in Android 7.1. In the latter case, as I said at the time, “ instead of thinking through what’d be the most sensible and user-friendly way for a feature like this to work, Google seemed to just emulate the way Apple did it. “ See the pattern”.
To a certain degree, a company is flexible and open to the evolution of its products – even when said transformation blatantly revolves around “borrowing” inspiration from other sources – can be an asset. But there’s also something to be said for having the stones to stand by the value of your ideas and remaining to recognize when you’ve got a good thing going, even if that requires a mix of refinement and promotion to reach its potential.
Unless Google manages to master the art of commitment and conviction, this pattern is doomed to continue – and the company is only going to keep getting in its way.
Why should you move to Google Sheets?
The most immediate benefit of using Sheets is the ability to collaborate in completely new ways. The “old style” of working would be using a master file that someone has to “own”, which is then ( in the best case) kept on a shared network folder, or painstakingly emailed around.
Here is where Sheets shines. There are several different modes of collaborating, ranging from asynchronous where you work independently and mostly at different times, in the same file, to real-time simultaneous collaborative editing. With asynchronous editing, you can use the comment feature to alert people and assign them tasks that they can mark as completed.
Editing a spreadsheet live with other colleagues is a powerful way of working. The productivity of two people who are all highly skilled with Google Sheets quickly building out a financial or operating model together in real-time is a sight compared to the old way of working. The multiple cursors in different colors, moving across the screen at the same time to build a model, is almost like a time-lapse video of a drawing.
Working at Scale
One of the primary misconceptions about the working environment was the notion that Sheets are fine for small calculations, but not useful for larger models or datasets: Turns out that is wrong. Using it for larger operating and valuation models over the past years and am very impressed with the performance.
Creating Charts and Linking to Google slides
Raw spreadsheet work is an important part of the finance professional’s daily life, but even the best analysis is of limited value if you are unable to communicate your findings in a cogent and compelling way. This brings us to two other staples of the finance toolbox: charts and presentations.
Presentations in the G suite are made in Google slides which, unsurprisingly feels like PowerPoint. The link between Sheets and Slides works very well and makes it easy to ensure that charts and tables in your presentation are always up to date through an “Update” button that pulls up the latest data of the underlying modeling, calculations, and assumptions.
When starting any large project now, one of the first things I do is create two documents: one in Google Slides and the other in Google Sheets. These go hand in hand cleanly throughout the project, providing that “ single source of truth” for all data in the project.
If you have ever had the painful experience of a spreadsheet crash beyond recovery, resulting in hours of lost work, you might have developed a habit of savings new files frequently.
Linking between sheets in Different Files
Cloud Productivity makes link functionality far more elegant and ensures that it works! It is possible to reference other workbooks in the offline Excel world, of course, but that tends to be brittle and breaks once files are moved out of their original folder location. You will often see cells containing obscure references to a folder structure on someone’s hard drive.
The Importance function in Google Sheets allows you to link seamlessly to other Sheets files: Irrespective of whether the file gets moved or renamed, the data will always be linked and remain one less problem for you to worry about.
Working with plugins
One reason why a large number of people in agencies still use Excel is that several plugins aren’t yet available for Google Sheets and Slides.
Nevertheless, Google Sheets and Slides have wide-ranging functionality named add ons which fills a similar role to the plugins of the Microsoft world. unfortunately, there is barely any support for enterprise applications and the homebrew nature of the add-on ecosystem means that some of the offerings have questionable quality. This means that within a corporate context when working with sensitive data, I am at times hesitant to use add-ons.
Connecting to External data sources
Getting data into a spreadsheet to work with is a fundamental need, and without some of the corporate plugins being unavailable, what is then possible? Well, fortunately, there are many options. Aside from having backward compatibility with excel files, Sheets offers endless possibilities through XML, HTML, and RSS queries.
There are a few more interesting options worth mentioning specifically for harnessing data in sheets. For finance professionals, the Google Finance formula can be useful to learn about, which allows you to pull data directly from Google Finance. Although not comparable to a professional service, it is nevertheless an excellent tool for public stock and currency information.
There are other, more general ways to get data from the web. The functionality to extract an HTML table or list directly from a website can, for example, be useful when it comes to financial, market, or other information publicly available that you want to retrieve and continue working on.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Google Sheets
Google Sheets allows users to edit, organize, and analyze different types of information. It allows collaborations, and multiple users can edit and format files in real-time, and any changes made to the spreadsheet can be tracked by a revision history.
- Real-Time collaboration: if you work with a team on the same matter, you can use Google Sheets to add data at the same time, wherever you are.
- It has a very simple interface, so individuals with beginner computer skills, so individuals with beginner computer skills would feel more comfortable working in Google Sheets.
- Everything is saved automatically, no need to worry whether your computer will crash. If you have a slow or old computer, Google sheets is a safer option.
- When you store data and documents online, your computer doesn’t lose memory.
- It’s free to use
- If you deal with big data, Google Sheets may work slower than Excel.
- Google sheets don’t have a wide range of data visualization options, unlike Excel.
- For complex accounting and bookkeeping, formulas in Google sheets are not good enough.
- Google sheets documents are on the cloud, so if someone hacks your business email, your data may leak. If you worry about data safety, Exxcel is better for preserving important and confidential documents
Can Google sheets do everything that Excel does?
Both of these programs function similarly, and for the bulk of users, you won’t find anything that sheets can’t do that Excel can. However, once you start moving up into more complex functions and more extensive datasets, excel is a little bit more useful in the long run. Most skills will transfer between programs, so don´t let that impact your decision of which to use too much.
Google Sheets is constantly updated and will one day surpass Excel in functionality too. But, Excel is still an extremely powerful program and it’s right. Truth be told, you will be fine with either one of them.
Google Sheets is better for collaboration but Excel is currently a more powerful program for more complex functions. Google Sheets is easier to use than Excel, but, if you have a lot of experience with the Microsoft suite then go with it, you may still prefer Excel.
Unfortunately, there are still some Excel functions that don’t work in sheets, but since Google is constantly updating its software suite, it’s only a matter of time before they catch up.
Differences between Google Sheets and Excel
Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets are the two best-known spreadsheet applications available today. They are pretty much the same when it comes to formulas and calculations. This implies that many of their features are the same.
Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet application that has been developed and maintained by Microsoft. Using Excel, you can perform a multitude of functions such as run calculations, and make lists, and charts. it also helps analyze and sort information, track financial data, and much more.
Excel has advanced functionalities, unlimited storage space, execution speed is fast, and contains more options for data visualization, but it has difficulties when troubleshooting, it makes collaboration harder and you cannot access the sheets from computers other than your own.
Google Sheets is a spreadsheet program offered by Google. Google Sheets can be in the form of web applications, desktop applications, or mobile applications.
Google sheets are free and easy to use, they are primarily built for collaboration and have a built-in revision history and a real-time chat window, but the loading time of the document increases, the data increases, and limited visualization options, customization, and formulas.
In nutshell, Google sheets are the preferred application for collaboration. Excel is a superior product in the case of statistical analysis and visualization, while Google Sheets if you want to perform analysis, you have to do it manually. Excel can be used while being offline, while Google sheets can be accessed both offline and online. To end with, Excel doesn’t have chatting facilities while Google Sheets has a chatting facility available on its sidebars.
Why convert Excel content to Google sheets
Users may edit, organize, and analyze many types of data using Google Sheets. It supports collaborations as we’ve said before, and many users may edit and format files in real-time, with a revision history to monitor changes made to the spreadsheet.
Users may utilize the Explore tool to ask questions, generate charts, visualize data, construct pivot tables, and color code the spreadsheet. For example, if you’re creating a monthly budget and have entered all your costs into the spreadsheet, you may utilize the Explore tool to find out how much food, travel, and clothing cost.
Offline as well as Online
You can still your sheets offline if you’d prefer, however, some of Google’s beneficial tools will not work without being connected to the internet, such as the aforementioned Explore Tool.
Offline editing is available in Google Sheets, and users may modify the spreadsheets on their mobile devices. To allow offline editing for Google Sheets and other Google applications on the desktop, users must use the Chrome browser to install the “Google Docs Offline” Chrome extension.
Users must utilize the Google Sheets mobile app for Android and IOS, which supports offline editing while using a mobile service.
Google Sheets accepts a variety of Spreadsheets file formats and types, including:
Google Sheets allows users to open, modify, save, and export spreadsheets and document files in all these different format types.
Other google products such as Google Forms, Google Finance, Google Translate, and Google Drawings, may all be connected with Google Sheets.
If you want to construct a poll or questionnaire, for example, you may enter the questions in Google Forms and then simply and efficiently import the form straight into your Google Sheets file.
To convert existing Excel spreadsheets to Google Sheets, you will have to :
- Head over to your Drive and create new Google Sheets files. Open your Sheet, then select File, Then Import.
- Click Upload and follow the on-screen instructions to upload or drag and drop it. Sheets documents contain two crossed lines, While Excel documents have an x.
- Choose the best choice in the Import file box and then click on “ Import data”.
In the case of Excel vs Google sheets, both software is great in terms of their core features. If your business requires some serious calculations, then go for Excel. If you want to collaborate on your spreadsheet, then Google sheets are the right choice for you.
If you’re looking for a good enough spreadsheet tool to start with, without any complex features, you can start with Google Sheets, but if you’re ready to invest some money to get more power and data analysis functionalities, you should go for Excel.
There are huge productivity benefits from the collaboration features and other innovations that come along with using web-based applications. There are also immense benefits from learning to use these tools past the elementary level.
Google Sheets advantages have multiplied across the huge number of hours spent with these tools, which can add up to tremendous gains, benefitting both the individual and the organization. If you haven’t worked seriously with it yet, we highly recommend that you take it for a spin